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Samantha Barks to play Russian folk witch Baba Yaga in “DRACULA”

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The Gary Shore-helmed DRACULA (formerly DRACULA: YEAR ZERO), which aims to tell an origin story of the most iconic vampire, is buying into the witchy moment genre entertainment is engaging. Samantha Barks, of last year’s LES MISÉRABLES, will essay mainstay of Russian folklore Baba Yaga.

Starring Luke Evans as the eventual titular figure, the film tells of a Transylvanian prince attempting to save his family and jeopardizing his soul in the process. Somewhere along the way, Baba Yaga will play a part. Described by THR as “a beautiful young woman who turns into a savage witch,” Baba Yaga dates far back in Russian storytelling, most often appearing as an old crone with a taste for children. Baba Yaga is said to fly using her mortar, as opposed to the broom, and possesses a nose so hideous and large, it grows to the ceiling of her isolated woodland hut. At times, she is joined by two sisters, also named Baba Yaga. Above, is Russian artist Ivan Bilbin’s depiction of the famous figure.

Dominic Cooper and Sarah Gadon co-star in DRACULA. It’s expected in theaters August 8, 2014. [THR]

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Samuel Zimmerman
Fangoria.com Managing Editor Samuel Zimmerman has been at FANGORIA since 2009, where fresh out of the Purchase College Cinema Studies program, he began as an editorial assistant. Since, he’s honed both his writing and karaoke skills and been trusted with the responsibility of jury duty at Austin’s incredible Fantastic Fest. Zimmerman lives in and hails from The Bronx, New York where his pants are too tight and he’ll watch anything with witches.
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